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Animal lovers will go to incredible lengths to help an animal in need. We recently shared an inspiring video of a man who saved a dolphin from a fishing net as well as the story of the man who saved a finch who was frozen to a metal fenced that has left us in awe. Seeing these stories gives us hope that there are plenty of people who see animals as valuable and important members of our society.

And that goes for even the tiniest of animals in need of our help. When Derek, an employee at an aquarium store in San Antonio, Texas, had a customer come in with a pet goldfish who suffers from permanent swim bladder disease, he wasn’t going to let the little fish die. Instead, Derek built a custom wheelchair-like contraption for the goldfish. He sent a photo of the goldfish happily swimming with his new aid to a friend. Unsurprisingly, when the friend tweeted out the photo, it instantly went viral. The tweet now has over 27,000 retweets and has left people in tears of happiness for this sweet goldfish.

The goldfish can now hold himself upright, all thanks to Derek’s innovative wheelchair! 


Sadly, the bladder disorder previously prevented the goldfish from controlling his buoyancy in the water, Derek explained to Buzzfeed. The goldfish kept getting stuck at the bottom of the tank – until Derek stepped in. He created the “wheelchair” out of aquarium airline tubing, valves, and weights to keep him propped up.

“I added weights to the bottom of the ‘chair’ and something to keep him afloat on top (styrofoam), and slowly removed pieces until I achieved just the right buoyancy to make it easy for him to swim around without feeling like he’s dragging around a chair,” Derek told Buzzfeed.

And how is the goldfish doing now? He loves his new wheelchair and is getting around just great! 

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.38.28 AM


Understandably, Derek is being hailed as a hero. If dogs and cats can have wheelchairs to help with their mobility, then we don’t know why a goldfish couldn’t either! We are thrilled to see this compassionate story of someone going above and beyond to help an animal in need – even the smallest of animals. This goldfish is a shining example of how an animal doesn’t need to be able-bodied in order to have a full and happy life.

Share this post with a friend and bring a smile to their face!

Image Source: Taylor Nicole Dean/Twitter

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0 comments on “Kind Man Builds a Tiny ‘Wheelchair’ for Goldfish Who Couldn’t Float”

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1 Months Ago

great person to help the goldfish to a better life.

1 Months Ago

Amazing and truely inspiring. Awesome job Derek!

Anneke Swanepoel, South Africa
3 Months Ago

I wish there were more people like Derek on this earth. He\'s my hero from now on! What a great person he must be to know. All of you who know him are so privileged!

3 Months Ago

I read this story a while ago & thought about the person who built this floating device needs to be a super clever and also very compassionate and a very kind person. This story is amazing and I love to see when kinder spirited humans go out of their ways to help out innocent animals such as these. I love animals of every kind or type. This little fella is lucky to have a loving owner such as this one. Thank you Derek...it\'s very sweet of you to do this for your Goldie.

3 Months Ago

Thanks to you Derek. You inspire me more to go beyond my duties as an educator for learners with special needs.

3 Months Ago

I respect anon who rescues an animal but a goldfish? Even better in some ways as people think of goldfish as disposable animals. Derek did not though and had enough respect for this tiny fish to figure something out to improve his/her life. What a mitzvah( a good deed in Yiddish) that is .

3 Months Ago

Just noticed this wasn\'t a man this was a female named Taylor Nicole Dean! One Green planet really needs an editor.

janet mcleod
20 Mar 2017

Taylor Nicole Dean! is just the person who posted it. It says in the article that the guy who invented it is called Derek.

3 Months Ago

I just totally fell in love with Derek!!

Christina Wilson
3 Months Ago

This is a wonderful story, it makes me so happy to know that there are people who care. This dear, good man took the trouble to make a tiny being\'s life better.

[email protected]
20 Mar 2017

The goldfish story is so sweet.Most people could give two shits about a goldfish,but not this guy he went a put together a little "Wheelchair"for a fish,now come on how many people would even think of something like this?not to many.I love the story and the man that has a huge heart!!

jenna petrotta
3 Months Ago

Love this .......... if only all humans could have and show such compassion.


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